When moving to Madrid, it’s impossible to bring everything you need for your new home along with you plus it’s fun to mix things up a bit for each new place. When looking for home supplies and decorations, it’s easy to hit up one of the many Cortes Ingles mega-markets for a one-stop shopping experience; however, there are lots of great home stores scattered around Madrid. I recently found a few in the Salamanca barrio and the prices are great at the moment during the season of rebajas!
A loja do gato preto was a wonderful find during a stroll one afternoon down c/ Velázquez. They have a wide selection of home decorations and are a great choice if you like bright colours. I saw some yellow, blue and purple buddha statues, intricately painted lanterns and a wide selection of photo frames. They also have useful but good-looking tools like dishracks, spoon holders and trivets and quirky japanese geisha soap dispensers. The prices are right too … I snagged a couple of medium bowls for €2.50 and placemats for just €1.90 each (the bright buddha heads were €24.90 and I was really tempted!). I will definitely be going back to and will try my best not to buy everything in the shop!
Just around the corner on Calle de Hermosilla (just a block north of the Serrano metro stop) are some other well-known shops such as Habitat, which sells contemporary furnishings and decorations. They had a wonderful display setup downstairs with ideas for your outdoor space … I love the orange folding chairs, they would be perfect for a little Madrid terraza! Continue a bit further down the road and you will find outposts of Zara Home and Zara Home – Kids. A slightly cheaper option is Butlers who had a wide selection of games and kid-friendly decorations along with a wide selection of nautical themed decor … perfect for decorating a beach house!
It’s exciting moving into a new home and I am pleased to find such fun shops here in Madrid!
A loja do gato preto: C/ Velázquez, 24 – 28001 Madrid / 34 91 577 16 07
Habitat: C/ Hermosilla, 18 – 28001 Madrid / 911812600 OR Paseo de la Castellana 79 – 28046 Madrid / 917 705 442
Zara Home & Zara Home Kids: C/ Hermosilla, 16 – 28001 Madrid / +34 915776445 (check their website for other locations)
Butlers: Calle de Hermosilla, 13, 28001 Madrid
I recently took the 45 minute flight on Easy Jet to celebrate the final single days of a good friend (another budget airline option is RyanAir). As you can imagine, with 11 girls trying to cram in as much sun and fun as possible, we hit a lot of beaches, bars and clubs in our 5 day stay. Salinas beach was one of our first stops which, while famous and beautiful, was very crowded and we subsequently thought it easier to stay on the Figueretas beach near our apartments. This also made for an easy walk to some great bars and restaurants.
Some of the best tapas I have had in Spain came from Home Loos, a small restaurant in Figueretas run by a very friendly and helpful Dutchman. Given our large group, he suggested bringing out a selection of dishes and we happily tucked into a wide variety of dishes that included piripiri prawns, meatballs, grilled veggies, cuttlefish and patatas bravas. The food was delicious and a welcome respite from some of the cheesy and overpriced spots that line the beach. For a more upscale dining experience, both Aura and KM5 delivered excellent food with a great atmosphere. At Aura, we ate in a beautiful and very private garden … a lot of girls wished their partners were along! Some favorite dishes included slow-roasted lamb and chargrilled squid. After dinner, we headed inside for a few drinks and a little dancing inside the small club. KM5 provided a more extensive after-dinner experience, with several areas reserved for groups with large couches and tents as well as a separate dance floor and multiple bars. They also had a live singer on staff who was truly amazing! The food and service were also excellent during our meal. The menu included a large selection of Argentinian beef; however, my sea bass and tastes of the roast lamb were delicious!
A good spot for a bite along the beach is the newly renovated Ushuaia beach hotel. With long tables beach-side, a DJ pumping out a bit of techno and plenty of sun, it’s a great spot for hanging out for a few cocktails during the afternoon. I also heard that their parties on Sunday are a lot of fun with a big stage setup poolside, but unfortunately we were too busy checking out another of the islands legendary events. Sundays at Space, one of the islands mega-clubs, are well-known and the club is packed from afternoon until early morning with partygoers from all over the world. It’s an anything-goes environment where people wear everything from bikinis to stilletos. The dancing moves from room to room as the night progresses and you also have the option of chilling out on the terrace for a bit of fresh air. Be prepared to boogie and to be out all night! Other club options include Pacha (related to the one right here in Madrid) and Amnesia. It’s impossible to miss the promos plastered all over the island advertising what DJs will be there during your visit.
Ibiza has lots of options available for you to create your own special holiday. A trip like mine definitely requires a lot of sleep beforehand, some comfortable dancing shoes and maybe a few pairs of funny sunglasses (what’s a bachelorette party without a little dressup??). If you prefer a calmer weekend, check out Jodie’s post (Quiet) Weekend In: Ibiza. Safe travels!
Aura: Ctra San Juan km 13.5, San Lorec, Ibiza / +34 971 32 53 56 / email@example.com
KM5: Ctr Sant Josep km 5.6, Ibiza / +34 971 396 349 / +34 696 255 100 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ushuaia: Carretera Playa d’en Bossa 10, 07817 Ibiza / +34 971 39 67 10
Space: Playa d’en Bossa s/n 07817 Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, Ibiza / +34 971 396 793
Pacha: Avinguda del Vuit d’Agost, 07800, Ibiza / +34 971 31 36 00